Hi Ralph I have been told in a number of banks that without residency there can be no bank account. The RNE number is what they require from a person, the CNPJ for a company. A company registered in Brasil will be alocated a CPNJ number and can open a bank account. You do not need to have a visa to open a company but you will need a brasilian national to be appointed administrator or someone with a resident visa. With the RNE number you will need proof of residency, utility bills etc, and address, similar to opening an account in Europe. They may well also want proof of tax status, tax returns, bank statements from overseas accounts etc. The whole situation is ludicrous and leaves wide open the opportunities to cheat foreigners. The system sucks and President Lula should look at ways to improve it or lose potential investors here.